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Briefing on April 23, 2011 by Shri Vivek Katju,...
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Briefing on April 23, 2011 by Shri Vivek Katju, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs on the State Visit of Hon’ble President of India to Mauritius from April 24-28, 2011 

Official Spokesperson (Shri Vishnu Prakash): A very good morning to all of you and welcome to XP Division. 

You are aware that the Hon'ble President of India would be leaving tomorrow on a State Visit to Mauritius. Secretary (West) Shri Vivek Katju is here to brief you on this very important visit of the President of India. Let me also introduce two of my colleagues on the dais. To the right of Secretary (West) is Mr. Gurjit Singh, Joint Secretary for East and Southern Africa and to my left is Mrs. Archana Datta, OSD to the President. I will invite Secretary (West) to make his opening remarks and thereafter he will be happy to take questions pertaining to the visit of the Hon'ble President to Mauritius. 

Secretary (West) (Shri Vivek Katju): Thank You. I have a brief opening statement and after that, you can ask questions. 

Hon’ble President will be on a State Visit to Mauritius from April 24 to April 28, 2011. During the visit, Hon’ble President will meet H.E. Sir Anerood Jugnauth, President of Mauritius. She will hold discussions with H.E. Dr. Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius, on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. The Leader of the Opposition, H.E. Mr. Paul Raymond Bérenger, the Chief Justice of Mauritius, Justice Bernard Sik Yuen, and the Speaker of the National Assembly of Mauritius, H.E. Mr. Rajkeswur Purryag will call on Hon’ble President. 

As part of the State Visit, Hon’ble President will also address the National Assembly of Mauritius, unveil a bust of Smt. Indira Gandhi at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture, and will meet the Indian community in Mauritius. The University of Mauritius will confer a Degree of Doctor of Civil Law honoris causa on the President. The Hon’ble President will also visit heritage sites such as the Aapravasi Ghat and the Le Morne. Hon’ble President will address the India-Mauritius Business Meet; a high level business delegation consisting of 57 business people from India will be in Mauritius during the State Visit of the Hon’ble President. 

Hon’ble President’s visit to Mauritius is a part of the process of exchanges at the highest political level between India and Mauritius. The two countries have enduring bonds of friendship and cooperation that are firmly rooted in history, tradition and cultural affinities. India-Mauritius partnership today is mutually beneficial, comprehensive, deep and diverse. The commitment of the two countries to democratic ideals, values and pluralism reinforces the close ties that they enjoy. 

India-Mauritius approaches on many regional and international issues, such as international terrorism, piracy, reform of the international institutions, including the United Nations, especially the Security Council, coincide. Both countries have a tradition of strong cooperation in multilateral fora. 

The State Visit of the Hon’ble President of India to Mauritius will provide a further impetus to the consolidation and development of their historical friendship and cooperation between the two countries and will enhance the India-Mauritius partnership. 

Thank You. 

Question: Sir, any MoUs?
Secretary (West): No MoUs or agreements are contemplated during this visit. We have a vast legal structure of agreements, Memoranda of Understanding already in place between the two countries which provides the legal framework within which our cooperation continues to flourish.

Question: Has India decided to give a vessel to Mauritius?
Secretary (West): There is ongoing cooperation in the security area between the two countries. India has been responsive to requests that come from Mauritius. Currently, a vessel is being manufactured in India as part of this process of cooperation. It is an Offshore Patrol Vessel, if you wish to know the exact nomenclature.

Question: What about the rest of the Delegation? Who else is going with the President?
Secretary (West): I think that is a fair question and I should have mentioned that. The hon. Minister of Shipping Mr. G.K. Vasan will be accompanying the President as part of the Delegation. There will be three Members of Parliament – Mr. Upendra Kushwaha, Mr. Hamdullah Sayeed, and Mr. A.T. Patil – who will also be part of the Delegation. In addition, there will be a team of officials who will be in attendance.

Question: Any family members of the President?
Secretary (West): We do not discuss family details. There will also be, as I mentioned, a Business Delegation which will be in Mauritius at the time of the visit. You can get details, names. It will be led by Mr. Navin Raheja of Raheja Developers, if I am not mistaken. But it is a strong delegation. They are in the business field. They are representatives from the cement industry, from telecommunication, education, information technology, agriculture, agro chemicals, fertilizers, infrastructure, finance and legal services, etc. Our economic and commercial ties are significant. Our trade at the moment is at the level of about 460 to 470 million US dollars per year. With these our exports to Mauritius account for about 450 million US dollars. There is a supply of petroleum products to Mauritius from India, which is on a long-term contract basis, and of course other diverse items in the field of manufactures, commodities, etc. We have also been partners in the development process of Mauritius. There are numerous projects which have been completed over the years. These have been in response to the needs of Mauritius. They have I think contributed not only to furthering our mutual friendship but also have catered for the development needs of the country.

Question: Do you have any figure on the FDI inflows from Mauritius?
Joint Secretary (E&SA) (Shri Gurjit Singh): Mauritius accounts for nearly 40 to 42 per cent of our total FDI from the beginning, from 1991. Last year also it was about 40 per cent and that is 10.376 billion US dollars. Total from April 2000 to January 2011 it is about 53.369 billion and that is 41.9 per cent. This is based on RBI figures.

Question: Sir, China has been investing a lot in Mauritius. Are you taking it as a threat since they are giving a lot of money to build a lot of structures over there?
Secretary (West): We are not in competition with any country in our foreign relations. Our relations with Mauritius especially stand on their own. As I have mentioned, it is time-tested; it is enduring; it is based on very firm foundations; it is comprehensive; and it stand, I must repeat, entirely on its own. We do not feel threatened by anyone.

Official Spokesperson: Thank you.


New Delhi
23 April 2011


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